Kartik Sud 3, Sunday 22 Oct 2017

Acharyaship

Sahajanand Swami had been in the company of Ramanand Swami for just under two years, moving from village to village, preaching and teaching. Ramanand Swami was greatly impressed with the knowledge and devotion of Sahajanand Swami. Ramanand Swami, Sahajanand Swami and other saints moved from Piplana and went to reside in the town of Jetpur. Ramanand Swami realised that he was getting older and his leadership of the sampraday would come to an end in the near future and so he must now seek a successor. Ramanand Swami considered all the great saints but in the back of his mind he wanted Sahajanand Swami to lead the Sampraday.

Ramanand Swami called Sahajanand Swami into his room one day and told him of his wishes. Sahajanand Swami's immediate reaction was to refuse the offer, saying, "I am too young to be your successor." "There are many other saints such as Muktanand Swami who are older than myself." "Besides, I enjoy the preaching part of my duties and do not wish to take on the management duties of the Sampraday." Ramanand Swami replied, "There are many saints older than you, but none is more wise." Ramanand Swami continued to encourage and persuade Sahajanand, citing the benefits that his leadership would bring to the Sampraday. Having further thought through the proposition and not wanting to defy the wishes of His guru Ramanand Swami, Sahajanand Swami accepted the role.

Ramanand Swami was delighted and he quickly arranged a sabha where he would announce the decision. Ramanand Swami requested Sahajanand Swami to sit beside him as he announced the decision to the sabha. Ramanand Swami announced the reasons why he felt a successor was needed and when he announced that Sahajanand Swami was to be this person, many of the sabha were astonished and felt cheated that someone so young and who had been a saint for no longer than two years was chosen. Ramanand Swami expected had expected this and defended his decision by telling of the greatness, power and wisdom of Sahajanand Swami and His achievements, from birth as Ghanshyam to His Vanvicharan as Nilkantvarni and as a saint. Everyone in the sabha soon accepted this decision and felt inspired by the future that Sahajanand Swami could bring to the sampraday and to true Dharma.

Sahajanand Swami was installed as the Acharaya of the Uddhav Sampraday by Ramanand Swami on Kartik Sudh 11 ST 1858, Exactly two years after receiving His Diksha. Ramanand Swami gave Sahajanand two boons to aid Him in leading the Sampraday. The first boon that Sahajanand Swami asked for was:- "If upon death my followers were to experience pain similar to that of a deadly scorpion sting, then let them feel no pain." "Let me accept this pain a thousand times greater than its original strength." The second boon He asked for was:- "If any of my followers who as a result of actions from their past lives are now suffering great hardship, then let me accept the burden of their suffering." "Not one of my followers should go without food, clothing or shelter," i.e. the things making prayer and the following of Dharma easier.

Upon hearing someone so young ask for boons so unique and for the sake of others rather than for himself, the sabha was pleased to have such a great saint as their leader.

Ramanand Swami, Sahajanand Swami and other devotees left Jetpur and moved on to the town of Faneni. It was here that Ramanand Swami left his mortal body on Magsar Sudh 13 ST 1858 (17/12/1801) at the age of sixty three years and Sahajanand Swami performed Ramanand Swami's last funeral rites. Days prior to his death and after installing his great successor, Ramanand Swami knew that his work was fulfilled. Ramanand Swami sat near the River Bhadra which flowed near Faneni and meditated .In his meditation he was focused on Sahajanand and He left the world with only the image of Lord in his thoughts. Ramanand Swami was released from the curse of Durwasa Rushi. During his life, Ramanand Swami preached true Dharma and always believed that the Lord had a physical form. Ramanand Swami, the incarnation of Uddhavji, also founded the Uddhav Sampraday, that which we follow today.